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Monday, November 29th, 2010

Your Next Toyota May Be A Virtual Rolling WI-Fi Smart Phone Thanks To Up-Coming Technology!


Alcatel-Lucent, through a consortium called the ng Connect Program, launched the LTE Connected Car concept to demonstrate in-vehicle broadband connectivity based on 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile access technology. It said the LTE Connected Car, which is based on an operating system from QNX Software, enables a variety of mobile applications and services not possible with current wireless technologies.

The firm described its concept vehicle as “a virtual smartphone on wheels.” It said it combined an LTE broadband radio link, which brings cloud-based multimedia services into the car, with an in-vehicle WiFi environment that supports integration with traditional home-based services. Combined, these capabilities enable this networked concept vehicle to offer a wide range of navigation, personal security, vehicle wellness, and infotainment services to drivers and passengers.

The LTE Connected Car offers independently operated touchscreens and software that provide access to multiple applications and forms of content. The prototype system supports the creation of interactive connected experiences that can be tailored to the individual preferences and requirements of drivers and passengers. 

Applications and content include:

  • Video on demand – an endless catalog of video content, including movies, recorded TV programs and user-generated content. New content can be rented or purchased in-car for media playback there or paused and finished at home.
  • Gaming – multi-player games played within the vehicle, in other cars or with players anywhere in the world.
  • Audio Library –an endless music catalog is accessible from the cloud.
  • Home control – direct connection from the concept car to home automation and security systems to manage climate control systems, lighting, etc.  or monitor home or business IP security cameras with streaming video feeds.
  • Enhanced communications services – calls and messaging services with a hands-free experience and access to social networks available to anyone in the car.
  • eCommerce – Web browsing and access to one of the concept’s many applications to buy right from the car.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot –in-car Wi-Fi network for full utilization of all Wi-Fi enabled in-car devices and connectivity to the cloud via LTE.
  • Advanced Navigation – the convenience of immediate, real-time GPS updates with point-of-interest overlay and integrated location-based services.
  • Enhanced safety, convenience and security – always-on LTE connectivity for real-time traffic, weather and road condition alerts to help improve driver safety in addition to the convenience of proactive vehicle health monitoring including maintenance scheduling, security monitoring and theft protection.
  • Road and vehicle monitoring – The concept vehicle becomes the sensor; a single platform for the collection and interactivity of vehicle status, location and road conditions that can be shared with other drivers.

Firms collaborating on the LTE Connected Car, in addition to Alcatel-Lucent and QNX Software Systems, are  Atlantic Records, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., chumby, and Kabillion.

Toyota Camry In-Dash Navigation Unit Repair Source

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

This is an article of interest about a young lady who bought a 2007 Toyota Camry with Gen 5 in-dash navigation 3 years ago from the Toyota Dealership and experienced trouble with the navigation unit as soon as the warranty nav dash

She was excited about adding the In-Dash Gen 5  navigation package which included an upgraded stereo, satellite radio, and GPS touchscreen navigation. This Navigation upgrade  by Denso is very nice and added $2,000 to the price of the vehicle at the time. The touchscreen for this unit works great and the built-in navigation is extremely convenient to always have in the car (versus putting up and taking down a hand-held GPS each time you get into the car).

Unfortunately a few months after the 3 year warranty expired on the car, the touchscreen display went out. All the functionality appeared to work, but the display was so dim that you could only tell it was on by shining a flashlight at it. So to the dealer it went for a repair estimate. The Toyota dealer after assessing the unit announced that it could not be repaired and should be replaced. Cost to replace a radio unit that cost $2,000 3 years ago…..$3,000 dollars. So apparently in 3 years, the price of this technology went up 50%. The dealer was supposed to charge labor for looking at it but the Dealer rep was so shocked himself by the price that he waived the fee. Good Customer Relations move by the dealer.

It was hard to  stomach this recommendation since it seemed that everything worked on the device except for the display. Pity to toss all those fancy electronics because of a failing LCD screen. After copious searching on the internet for others with similar problems who might have suggestions for repair, a recommendation from a forum suggested a company out of California that repairs these units.

The company is Hi-Tech Electronic Services out of Van Nuys, CA. Through E-mail contact with the company they said that they could fix it and would give a free official estimate once they received the unit (though a rough estimate was given via e-mail). After removing the radio (one of the easiest cars for removing a radio), and $30 of UPS shipping later they had it at their shop.

They examined the unit, repaired the 3 parts that had gone bad, and shipped it back all within a week for $585 total including return shipping. So a new replacement unit is $3,000 from Toyota, repair of existing unit, $585…  A much, much better deal. They only offer a 90 day warranty on their repairs, but that is to be expected with electronic repairs in general. Overall a wonderful experience is reported. The unit was reinstalled into the car and it has been working great ever since.

You may want to check into this company Hi-Tech Electronic Services if you experience any kind of in-dash navigation unit trouble that requires repair.


Friday, June 11th, 2010

A neighbor who recently bought a new 2011 Sienna Van with Generation 6 Navigation expressed frustration a few days ago that she couldn’t continually display a single screen, in her case the audio screen, for more than 20 seconds without it flipping over to the set-up screen. She was beginning to long for the past with her tomtom nav

This issue will come up many times for owners with navigation. Here is how to fix it:

  • Press the Info Button
  • On the Info Screen, press Screen Settings
  • On the Screen Settings display click Automatic Screen Change “OFF”

This will stop screen changes every 20 seconds on the display.

These Toyota Models Have The New Generation 6 Navigation:

2011 Camry, Generation 6 Navigation

2010Tundra Limited and Platinum grades, Generation 6 Navigation

2010 Venza, Generation 6 Navigation

2010 Prius, Generation 6 Navigation

2010 4Runner, Generation 6 Navigation

2011 Sienna, Generation 6 Navigation 

2011 Avalon, Generation 6 Navigation


Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

***UPDATE*** As more and more of customers continue to purchase vehicles with Auto Navigation and Bluetooth, it becomes more and more challenging to explain all of the features on these Navigation System Accessories. Toyota has created a DVD Auto Navigation tutorial through their website that can be accessed by a customer at their own leisure. Here are the steps:

Step 1:
Go to

Step 2:
Choose your vehicle

Step 3:
Choose the “Options & Accessories” tab

Step 4:
Click the “DVD navigation system” link

Step 5:
The Navigation tutorial will launch and begin to play


Our customers have two Bluetooth options: 1) Bluetooth with Navigation System or 2) Bluetooth without Navigation System. Toyota has also created a tutorial that explains how to use this feature. Here are the steps:

Step 1:
Go to

Step 2:
Choose your vehicle

Step 3:
Choose the “Options & Accessories” tab

Step 4:
Choose the “Bluetooth” link

Step 5:
The Bluetooth tutorial will launch and begin to play

Step 6:
Customers should visit for a list of Toyota vehicles with Bluetooth capabilitiy and phone requirements

The Auto Navigation System and Bluetooth tutorials are a great tool. This interactive site is an enhancement to the owners manual and available to the customer 24/7.

Also, there is an Exclusive Lifetime Warranty available when you purchase a new Toyota. To make sure you buy your New Toyota with a Lifetime Warranty, Subscribe below:


Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

TOYOTA AUTO NAVIGATION Has too many Navigation System features to cover in a single post writing. We’ll cover in this post setting a single address point to follow and travel to using auto navigation.

At the navigation system console, press the “MAP/VOICE” button to view the map screen.  On this screen the “MAPVIEW” button allows display of input Points Of Interest or POI’s as they are called. The “MARK” button stores current vehicle position in the system memory for recall.

Press the “DESTINATION” button and a screen with several options for inputing an Address, POI, or Previously Stored Location appears.  (Please note that an Explanation of Terms Used in Navigation can be viewed by pressing the “HELP” button which is a “?” in a circle icon located on both the MENU and DESTINATION screens. A box with scroll buttons appears to select terms.)

The DESTINATION SCREEN actually has 2 sceens, 1/2, which is selected at the top right corner of the screen, 1 or 2. On this screen be sure the correct “Search Area” is selected. To select a “Search Area” press the “CHANGE” button that goes to a screen where one of ten geographical search areas can be chosen. For example Alabama is “US7“.  (Details about each Search Area are outlined by pressing “MENU“, then on that screen press “MAP DVD“, and select a covered area from a list.) 

Now input a Destination Address to follow:

  1. With the vehicle stopped, press the “DESTINATION” button, then press the “ADDRESS” button
  2. An Address screen appears, a “Street Number” and “Street Name” is input, (Note as characters are entered, the system automatically narrows the available choices.)
  3. Select an Address from the displayed choices and a map appears showing the Destination Location
  4. Press “ENTER” if the location shown is perfect or, use the displayed arrows to “fine tune” the location, then press “ENTER” and the accurate screen for the destination is displayed.
  5. At the bottom of this screen a choice of 3 Routes to take to the destination are given.
  6. A demo of each Route can be viewed before making a selection. To end the demo, press the “MAP/VOICE” button
  7. Click on the Route desired to follow and begin
  8. At the end, to delete a Destination, press the “MAP/VOICE” button, press “ROUTE“, then “DELETE“, then confirm by selecting “YES“.

This is a simple Toyota Tutorial on how to  map out a Destination and drive to it. To learn much more about Toyota Vehicle Navigation, go to, click on Frequently Used Features heading, upper left corner,then on the next screen, click the Red “Frequently Used Feature” Iguide Bar, select “Toyota Gen5 Navigation System“, and then select the vehicle model of interest for an in-depth presentation.
Be sure to inquire about The EXCLUSIVE LIFETIME WARRANTY available on Toyotas and Scions…